photo of Ian Phythian in front of Emergency Department
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Ian Phythian: Our First Cardiac Surgery

Ian Phythian is not a likely candidate to be Southlake's first cardiac surgical patient. As a 54-year-old non-smoker with an active lifestyle, he was surprised to learn the pain he felt in his wrist and arm when he played sports could be tied to a heart condition, and even more surprised to learn he needed triple bypass surgery.

Mr. Phythian was admitted to Southlake when a series of diagnostic tests revealed he had several critically blocked coronary arteries that would require urgent bypass surgery.

On Dec. 4, 2003, when he was taken into the cardiovascular operating room, he was the first patient to see the room. After successful surgery, he was transferred to the cardiovascular intensive care unit (CVICU) and was awake and had his breathing tube removed that evening. He was sitting up in a chair the same night and discharged four days later.

His time at Southlake, while not long, was life-changing, both for him and for a team of people who had worked so hard to make Southlake's Regional Cardiac Care Program a reality. For most of them, this surgery represented the moment when they could say, "We did it."

They could not have asked for a better first surgery patient. As an emergency services attendant, Mr. Phythian became a cheerleader for patients facing similar surgery, letting them know they would get their lives back. He told them that in no time he was back to his active lifestyle playing hockey, skiing and gardening.

Today, Mr. Phythian has not had any cardiac recurrence. He knows he is in good shape—as a paramedic and because of his history, he must undergo stress testing with a cardiologist every six months.

At the time of his surgery, he wrote to the local newspaper to say, "I hope the people of Newmarket and the surrounding communities are as proud of Southlake as I am, not just for its outstanding services but more importantly for its staff who are so professional, friendly and dedicated to supporting their patients."

His opinion has not changed. Because of his job, he is regularly in and out of Southlake's cardiac unit.

"I talk to a lot of people," he says, "and I know that our cardiac centre is one of the best in Canada. I hear it from patients, I see it on the news and I see it for myself."

Southlake Regional Health Centre
596 Davis Drive, Newmarket, Ontario   L3Y 2P9
Tel: 905-895-4521   |   TTY: 905-952-3062
Copyright © 2012 Southlake Regional Health Centre
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